This year is our school’s fourth annual Heartbeat Vietnam fund drive. The HBVN organization provides vital heart surgeries to Vietnamese children in great need. Each surgery is estimated to cost about 1200 USD and our school’s goal is to help five children each year. With a goal of raising 6000 USD, our students, parents, and staff organized events and sales during the week of May 8-12 to supplement the generous donations made by TAS families. With all the hard work and creativity involved, our school was able to raise 7800 USD for heart surgeries, exceeding our goal by an amazing 1800 USD. A big thanks to everyone who participated in making this a successful year of fundraising!
On April 21, 2017, The American School hosted Dr. Marilyn George, Vice President of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), for a school site visit to assess our new Early Childhood facility.
Dr. George reviewed the curriculum for pre-nursery through Kindergarten, assessed the innovative learning spaces, and met with teachers, students, and staff regarding teaching and learning. She was impressed with the school’s commitment to create a separate, stand-alone facility for our youngest learners. This site visit will culminate in a report of the findings sent to the Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges in advance of their June Commission meeting. The Commission will act on the recommendations in the report and inform the TAS Leadership in the fall. The American School is accredited by WASC (pre-K-12) through June, 2021.
Nearing the ninety-minute mark in my drive to campus, a drive which should have only been twenty minutes had it not been for the infamous LA traffic, I wondered if all of this, the late nights writing application essays and the sixteen-hour plane ride, would be worth it. I had been selected to compete for USC’s presidential scholarship, worth half-tuition, and was required to fly to campus to interview. Half an hour later, I would find out that it was.
Driving through the tall black gates, I couldn’t keep the smile off my face. The wide pavements and perfectly shaped shrubbery seemed to come straight out of a brochure. The atmosphere of the school itself was perfectly encompassed by the many students wearing business suits and simultaneously riding long boards. After being served pastries and coffee for breakfast, I was led into a large theater with the rest of the scholarship finalists, where we were personally welcomed by the Trojan marching band and the admissions counselors who chose us. Afterwards, professors from our prospective majors and the deans of our specific schools, who spoke to us as if we were old friends instead of gangly high school kids, shook our hands and took the time to personally answer the many questions we had. Although extremely professional and articulate, each had the laidback attitude stereotypically attributed to residents of LA. It was this that caused the interview, the one that we had all been stressing over for weeks, seem like a casual conversation in a coffee shop rather than in a private meeting room.
Though the campus was beautiful and the cupcake ATM was a pleasant surprise, it was my peers—a boy who had successfully launched his own tech startup, another who had written already written a memoir before his 18th birthday, several prospective computer science majors who had built their own websites from scratch, and many more—who had made the experience unforgettable.
In TAS, we encourage students spending time to read, and we have WORLD READ ALOUD DAY for elementary students with supported by Middle school students. Let’s see what they doing!
TAS students, remaining true to their altruistic values, joined Habitat for Humanity in building a house from scratch for a Vietnamese rural family. While they learn more about their country, TAS students build a better Vietnam and a better future!